Friends

Exit Records presents: Aptitude

Dbridge rallied up the best of Exit Record talent and associated artists at the second session of the Aptitude series held, fittingly, at the Bridge last Friday 2nd June.

We got to the venue around 1 am and it was the first time we went there so we didn’t quite know what to expect. I’d say it was interesting. From the outside the place is very unassuming: no sign, no posters, no anything – all black. Once inside, you walk up some stairs and enter a rather small room, with sleek walls and shiny ceiling. It’s an odd little place, but the speakers are loud and have a good wobble to them.

Everyone that loves drum and bass knows that it was a sad week last week with the unexpected passing of Marcus Intalex. That’s why Exit records have decided to donate all proceeds from the night to Marcus’ family and help in this difficult time. Marcus Intalex was one of the great DnB producers, and a true pioneer. He has pretty much invented the sub-genre of liquid funk and his contributions to the world of music will live on.

Aptitude payed tribute to him and played his music. After some slow rollers, the night picked up pass with more experimental sets and more personality coming through the different tunes. Unfortunately we had to cut the night short as we had field day the next day and wanted to be as rested as we could have been given that we’ve just spent the last 3 or so hours on our feet taking in the music…

 

Peace.

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Friends

Field Day 2017

Last Saturday, 3rd June 2017, was that time of year again! Field day, one of London’s now probably most popular and ever growing day festivals, graced us with its presence once again.

Field Day was also the very first day festival I’ve ever been to back in 2012… which is now 5 years ago! Back then I went with a friend as an end-of-exams-treat-yo-self gift to outselves, and I have very fond memories of that day! We saw Gold Panda, SBTRKT, Hudson Mowahk, possibly Flying Lotus, and maybe even Franz Ferdinand (just to give you an idea HOW LONG AGO 2012 is), as well as a bunch of other acts (which I cannot recall). But from what I can absolutely remember, you can trust me that 2012 was a good year for music! SBTRKT released his first album, everyone was loosing it when he played Wild Fire, Hudson Mohawk had also just released his first album, with Cbat and Thunderbay being the killer tracks of his set, and Gold Panda’s set had one of the best light shows I had seen at the time playing around with lights and smokes. Trust me when I say it was an epic day!

So you guys can probably understand that I jumped at the idea of returning to Field Day half a decade later when my friend suggested to go again this year. On the day of the event, my friend sent me our what we thought were e-Tickets only to realize that the email did not come with any attachments. Turns out RA actually sent out physical tickets and they got delivered to my friends’ home address in – wait for it – Scotland. After a bit of an initial panic period we cleared our heads over an epic breakfast and came up with an action plan: que será, será and we had all the documents and ticket purchase confirmations with us to prove our point. After a filling our tummies with some tasty poached eggs, avocado on toast, and heaps of bacon we walked over to Victoria park.

We arrived at the site around 4pm, thinking it would only take a few moments for us to get in. We ended up queuing for over an hour at ticket enquiries, only to be told that we should not have even bothered to queue there as there were loads of people who just like us made the honest mistake of not having a physical ticket on us and could have just walked in…  Sadly, that meant we missed Moderat for nothing (but from what I’ve been told, it was a great set).

Given that we only got in around five we missed have the festival, but luckily still managed to see everyone we wanted to see for most parts. One of the biggest downside of London festivals’ is that due to their location they will never be loud enough. the stage Kode9 was playing at was actually quite cool –  a pavilion rather than a tent – but that also meant it was even quieter than the other stages, and it’s a shame because Kode9 deserves a lot of bass! So we imagined the bass and had a good little skank before going to see Nico Jaar at the barn.

The barn was the main stage, and was a warehouse like looking construction that was mind blowing and reflects the scale at which Field Day has grown over the years to a whopping capacity of 25,000 people now.

To be completely honest, I was a little bit disappointed by both Nico Jaar and Nina Kraviz. Both their sets felt like a very long intro, with the progression not really kicking in and you were left in this build-up mood that you did not get to release. It also felt a bit as if they were not really that into it and who can blame them to be fair: If you’re used to headlining and playing at the greatest and grandest festivals, and are then also playing a little set at a minor London festival that is a bit of a catch-all for a wide range of genres, I’d imagine you base your set on the crowd and give them a catch-all, non-offensive, and quite-generic set. But then again what do I know; I’m a DnB head and it could have been a fantastic minimal tech set – I just didn’t feel it.

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The highlight of the day was without a doubt the closing show by Aphex  Twin. This set alone made the entire day worth it; it was mind-blowing to say the least. The light show was one of a kind and Aphex was keeping the intensity on high throughout the entire show. If you want to listen back to the set, this Reddit thread managed to get the entire track lists for his sets, and can all be listened back to via the Spotify playlist here – enojy!

 

Peace.

Friends

Spearhead presents @ Egg

Last Friday night, 19th May 2017, Spearheads records took over Egg for a night of uplifting drum and bass extravaganza with one of the most promising line ups I had seen in quite a while. Making it no surprise that I had it firmly booked in my calendar for best of 2 months, I mean, just look at this lineup:

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Big shout out to Spearheads for posting the lineup all over their social media a day ahead of the event, as there were some tough decisions and compromises to be made on who to see when in order to get the maximum raveisfaction out of the night. We were on a mission: starting off with how ever much we got to see of Dexcell, followed by the full set of Hybrid Minds, then down to garden for the second half of LSB, up again for the second half of Riya, followed by everything left to come in the garden: 2nd half of Makoto, full set of Logistics, and whatever we’d manage to see of BCee before heading back home.

And we even managed to stick to the plan the entire night! Naturally when the lineup is as good as this, there will always be a few acts you will have to sit out. I would have really enjoyed seeing a bit of Commix, Lenzman, Villem & McLeod, or Nymfo, but overall am very content with the choices we’ve made – especially Makoto, who is not over from Japan that often, so it was an easy decision really. I haven’t been to EGG in several years, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how it turned out after the big refurbishment they had since. It still is a maze to find your way around and the staircases turning into bottle neck situations between sets, but the old smoking area has been turned into another main room and there’s a new upstairs area as well now where the new smoking area is as well as another bar / small stage area.

It happens very rarely that one of the main acts I want to see start off the night. That was exactly the case with Hybrid Minds taking over the loft, and I could not have been happier. Since first discovering Hybrid Minds maybe two year ago, they have swiftly become one of my top DnB acts by continuously delivering deeply beautiful heartfelt lyrics, combined with soulful and melodic beats and a rolling bass.

Back to the night. Only a few caveats to note about the loft space: size, layout, and sound. Think of it as an upstairs area with low ceilings in the shape of a L. The problem about this set up was that the stage was on the short side of the L, with there only being enough spaces for maybe three or four rows of people – and even less as people were confused as to where the exit to the loft was, meaning they’d fight their way through the crowd in this small space only to go back again. All in all you can imagine it was bit of an annoyance. And lastly, the space was not equipped well enough to take the bass and energy radiated by Hybrid Minds.

The set started off strong with the Tokyo Prose remix of Touch, at which time we were still confined to the back area, and increasingly got pushed further and further towards the back where the room again got divided into a sofa and chill area – meaning even more limited space at the back as well. Downside of this spot was that, for one, we could not see the stage (which if you actually go out to see an act is quite the downer), and second I literally could not here a thing. Yes, literally – not figuratively. We did the only thing you could at that point and braced the crowds, made our way to the front, and found ourselves a nice little spot in the corner right at the front. From there on the set was one big magical dream. We were close enough to the speakers to actually hear the music, but even so it still wasn’t loud enough to overpower a conversation held at normal or bit-above-normal volume. The crowd was on point as well, and a few tracks in the loft soon turned into a stuffy sweat-box thanks to the low ceilings (I’m around 6ft tall and could easily touch the ceiling to give you a better idea of the situation). This unfortunately also meant that it became too much to handle for the already poor sounding speakers as all that humidity started to interfere with it before getting readjusted on several occasions during the set, but more on this later.

The biggest surprise of the set was when Charlotte Haining made a special appearance and performed Brighter Days live, the new track she is featuring on taken from the forthcoming Elements album which will be out on Hybrid Music! I can barely contain my excitement about the new album and really am looking forward to getting lost in their music once again. When I first heard Brighter Days I was at work, and luckily it was already late enough for there not to be too many people around, because it felt like I was having such an intimate moment with the song: it was almost as if there was nothing and no-one else around me other than being all encompassed by the music; every single hair on my arms and neck stood up from the goosebumps I was having… it was a real special moment.

The atmosphere during the set was one of a kind, but it was too much to handle for the speakers. So much so, that during the last track from Hybrid Minds’ set, the Nu:Logic Remix to Birdy – Wings, the speakers completely blew out and the final verse of the track got looped over an impressive 5 times before I stopped counting. The crowd did not seem to mind though, and everyone was having a blast. What a set! What a way to start the night! Anything from here onward was a nice little bonus to an incredible night. That’s what I was there to see, and Hybrid Minds once again delivered big times.

 

 

 

 

 

Friends

Reggae Roast – Sunday Skank!

The latest installment of Reggae Roast’s Sunday Skank sesh held yesterday, Sunday 14th May, at Brixton Jamm was one not to be missed! The weather gods most definitively were on our side, as we enjoyed a few ice-cold beers out in the sunshine of what I can only describe one of the most chilled out outdoor areas Brixton has to offer.

Brixton Jamm is one of the many gems in and around Brixton that has the best of both outdoor and indoor fun. The outside area is big enough for it never really to feel too busy, especially with plenty of benches, spots to sit and chill, and palm trees adding to the general laid back atmosphere, it is one of those places that once the sun is out you don’t want to be anywhere else.

And timing wise things couldn’t have worked out better yesterday either; the music started playing inside just around the time it started to get a bit rainy out. As you walk through the double doors and under a sign that most fittingly reads LET’S GO DANCE you are first greeted by a hefty bassline. I was half expecting Reggae Roasts to bring along their own custom built multiple stacks high sound system, but either way the sounds did not disappoint.

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As expected the music was spot on with a good mix of roots, reggae, and dub. The vibes were flowing, with the Reggae Roast crew passing the mic back & forth and everyone was having a great time. Shumba Youth and Leo Samson launched their new single ‘Check it out’, which got released on the label a few weeks back, and performed some tracks from their EP as well. Unfortunately I could not stay to the end to witness Benny Page dropping a Reggae X Jungle set, but I can only imagine how good that must have been!

These monthly installments of Sunday Skank are taking Sunday-Funday to the next level! Especially with summer coming up, I am looking forward to some sunshine, BBQ food, happy hour all accompanied by the best UK reggae has to offer.

Boom, Caro out.